Ziff Davis Internet
News & Resources for the IT Reseller
NewsReviewsTech AnalysisCommentarySecurityLinux/Unix
My Account |  

Microsoft Seeks to Decouple the ‘MB’ From SMB
By Mary Jo Foley

Rather than targeting the small/mid-size business market as a single entity, Microsoft is putting in place separate products and programs for small and mid-size customers.

MINNEAPOLIS — To Microsoft, the small/mid-size business (SMB) segment is no longer a single entity.

Here at the company’s annual worldwide partner conference this week, Microsoft is planning to announce new programs aimed at what its officials now claim are two very different and distinct types of businesses.


Microsoft is now targeting mid-size customers with one set of products and programs, and small businesses with another. At the same time, the company is pushing its own and its reseller partners’ sales forces to tailor their proudcts and pitches to specific vertical markets.

Microsoft is planning to unveil a new version of Windows Server, currently known as Windows Midmarket Server, that is designed expressly for mid-market customers. That product is not expected to debut for another year or two, however. And Microsoft is not making that announcement at the partner conference, officials said.

But Microsoft is taking a first step toward such an offering on Thursday, when it will unveil a new Windows Server bundle specifically tailored for mid-size customers. (Microsoft identifies “mid-size customers” as those with more than 25 but fewer than 500 PCs connected to the Internet.)

The new Windows Server System offering for mid-size users is comprised of three Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition SKUs (due to be replaced by three Windows Server 2003 R2 SKUs, once that product ships later this year); one Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition SKU; and one Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 Workgroup Edition SKU.

Is this the old Microsoft BackOffice bundle revisited?

Although the new bundle does not include Systems Management Server and Host Integration Server, as most mid-size businesses do not require these kinds of products, it is similar to BackOffice in that it pulls together “core infrastructure” said Steven VanRoekel, director of mid-market solutions with the Windows Server group.

PointerClick here to read more of The ChannelInsider’s coverage of Microsoft’s Channel business

“This is a combination that is the least-common denominator for these kinds of busineses,” VanRoekel said.

The mid-size bundle will be available as of next month. In addition to the aforementioned products, it also will include 50 new combination promotional Client Access Licenses (CALs) for Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003.

Microsoft also is making available several new resources aimed specifically at mid-size customers. These include:

  • Midsized Business IT Center, a new Web site that will provide Microsoft-specific technical information and resources to IT professionals and consultants working with mid-sized businesses;
  • Windows Server System Deployment Guide for Midsized Businesses, a book from Microsoft Press, that will provide prescriptive guidance for mid-size businesses looking to deploy Windows-Server-specific technologies;
  • Microsoft Security Assessment Tool (MSAT), which is designed to help customers with fewer than 1,000 employees assess security vulnerabilities within their IT environment.

    PointerClick here to read the rest of this story on Microsoft Watch.

    Go to Microsoft Watch Home Page



    Free Hands-On Training Lab
    Find out how key features of SBS 2003 can help you open up a new line of revenue. Register now >>

    SBS 2003 Sales Reference Card
    This handy reference card contains features at a glance, sales objection handling, pricing guidelines & more. Get it now >>

    Microsoft Empower for ISVs rewards your big idea with big benefits and support.
    Access key development tools at a low cost to help you develop that idea into an innovative application. Learn more >>

    Changing Business for the Better: A Practical Guide to BPM

    This paper provides an overview of the benefits of BPM technologies and identifies the characteristics of BPM solutions that lead to successful BPM process-centric integration projects.

    Download this free white paper to learn more!

    >> brought to you by IBM

    Attention Microsoft Solution Providers!

    Want to gain a competitive edge? Try Microsoft Watch – FREE!

    Each week you receive:
  • Microsoft News and Insider Information
  • Expert Analysis
  • Code Names of Upcoming MS Products
  • Year-Ahead Calendar, updated monthly

    Click Here to sign up now for your FREE 14 Day Trial to Microsoft Watch.
  • Add up to $1,200 of value with the new BONUS PACKS.
  • HP PartnerONE: The key to increasing your margins.
  • HP Compaq nc6129 Business Notebook. $1149 Smart Buy
  • HP xw8200 workstation. Smart Buy price $1549.
  • ProLiant DL360G4p server: HP Smart Buy price $1647
  • Microsoft files new anti-piracy lawsuits. Learn more.
  • New offers with Windows Genuine Advantage.

    •Catalog Publishing
    •Dealer Management
    •Order Configuration
    •Price Management
    •Sales Management

    View All >

    Search the jobs you want & get the info you need – post your resume here today!

    Powered by Dice
    White Boxes
    MS vs. IBM
    Linux in the Channel
    Stay in the Zone
    Put The Channel Insider on your desktop.
    Subscribe to The Channel Insider: Channel News, Reviews, Resources and more.

    Make your selections below:

    Contract Watch

    The Channel Insider Update

    Preferred e-mail format:

    Enter your e-mail:

    view all newsletters >>
    Channel Insider Quick Links
    Ziff Davis Footer Logo